By Warren Coe
Call to Worship
Early in their history the Eastern Orthodox Church established a practice on Easter morning. Each believer would exchange a “Pascal kiss” and say to one another, “Christ is Risen!” Then each would respond, “Truly He is Risen!”
When I was a senior pastor our congregations would begin Resurrection Sunday with a call to worship. “He has Risen!” The congregation would respond “He has Risen Indeed!” Hearing all those voice acknowledging Christ’s victory over death gave me chills.
On that first Easter angels told the women, “He is not here, but He has risen.” (Luke 24:6). Then Jesus gave many demonstrations concerning His resurrection. He told doubting Thomas to touch His scars. (John 20:27) To the disciples he showed his hands and feet and said, “Touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” (Luke 24:39)
Along with the crucifixion of our Lord, the most recorded event in Scripture and having the greatest authenticity, is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Every one of Jesus’ disciples saw Jesus alive from the grave. Paul writes, “He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)
But people say the twelve disciples promoted a lie. They say Jesus Christ never rose from the grave and his bones are moldering some place in Israel. Few people will die for the truth but no one dies for a lie. The disciples choose death instead of life because they had seen Jesus Christ alive from the grave.
What Does it All Mean?
Because Jesus is alive we have eternal life in His name. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.” (John 3:14, 15). Death has been defeated. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:56, 57).
What must I do to have everlasting life and victory over sin and death? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of your sins. Make this the greatest Easter ever.